An air show combining historic airplanes, actors in period costume and a narrated look at the history of aviation drew about 7,000 people to the Carroll County Regional Airport yesterday.
The History of Flight air show, sponsored by Severna Park-based Aero Theatre Inc., included flapping white doves, a World War I triplane and modern military jets, along with a parade of horse-drawn carriages and antique cars.
To illustrate the Roaring '20s, Bonnie and Clyde look-alikes rode by in a period convertible as a Fleet Model 2 biplane -- a standard training aircraft for the era -- took off and flew by.
Later, the loudspeakers blared a news report of the attack on Pearl Harbor, introducing the World War II-era displays.
Garrett Faber, 4, came dressed in a replica of his grandfather's World War II pilot's jumpsuit, complete with a lieutenant colonel's insignia on the epaulets. His parents, Anne and John Faber, brought Garrett and his 2-year-old brother, Ryan, to the show from Littlestown, Pa.
"It's nice to learn the history," Mrs. Faber said. Garrett and Ryan seemed to like the cars and horse-drawn carriages as much as the airplanes, she said.
But Joseph Kent, a commercial pilot who flew down with his son Steven Kent from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., could have done without the extras.
"I like to see airplanes, not people," said Mr. Kent, 70.
Before the show, the Kents were among a small group of aviation enthusiasts who lined up on a remote runway admiring the airplanes, especially the Bellanca CH-400, a single-engine plane originally built in the 1920s.
"Wow, that's incredible," said Robert Straub, 63, when he glimpsed the red and black six-seater. "I've never seen one, and I've been looking at airplanes for 50 years. It puts you back to the late 1920s."
Marcus Slowiak, an Annapolis lawyer who drove to the air show with his father-in-law to see the Bellanca and its owner, is puzzled and fascinated by the ability of an aircraft to fly.
"The wings don't seem big enough on any of these planes to lift them," he said. "It's amazing that they fly at all."
When Richard Schriebmaier, the Bellanca's owner, arrived, he let the group mill around his airplane.
Mr. Schriebmaier of Hazleton, Pa., said he spent about 8,000 hours over a period of more than three years rebuilding the Bellanca.
The wooden frame of the wings and the metal-framed body of the plane are covered in Dacron. "I made them all myself," he said of the wooden and steel parts. "I got a sewing machine, and I sewed the fabric."
The plane was salvaged after making a forced landing on a frozen riverbed in Alaska in 1958, Mr. Schriebmaier said. He acquired the remains from friends in 1983 and believes it is the only Bellanca in the world still flying.
"It's a personal achievement, just like a painter who would paint a picture, or an architect would design a building," said Mr. Schriebmaier, 62, a corporate pilot and former airport operator.
Mr. Schriebmaier's Bellanca was one of more than 60 aircraft to take off and fly by the crowd during the four-hour program.
Before the show, visitors could go for 25-minute rides in a 1929 Ford Trimotor, one of the first airplanes to carry as many as 10 to 15 passengers for commercial flights. The Trimotor, the Bellanca and the show will be back at the airport today, with gates opening at 9 a.m. and the show starting about 12:30 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 6 to 12, and free for children 5 and under.